Posts Tagged ‘Spiritual things’

“Ode To A Coopers Hawk”, posted for

June 27, 2011

American Bald Eagle, watercolor, janekohut-bartels, 2001

Recently I went through a loss and an argument.  I woke up with this poem in my mouth:  it expressed a lot of my feelings, especially about religion and spiritual issues. 

I haven’t all the answers and I don’t expect to.  That is what life seems to be all about now….the unrelenting chase of finding things that make sense, and especially promote growth: spiritual, intellectual and emotional growth.

Picking those people who are healthy for your spirit to develop is always the issue.  I wish life was longer, because I need the time.

The world is Big out there….and there are wonderful people to meet.  Wonderful people already in your life.

This poem is for Margie.

Lady Nyo

Ode to a Coopers Hawk

Come to me.

Come to me,

Winged celestial beauty.

Come to me with your notched

Mermaid tail,

Your silken roll of feathers.

Fly down into my hollowed-out soul,

Fill me with your sun-warmed glory

Nestle in my arms

And bring the curve of the horizon

Embraced in your outstretched wings.

I need no white bearded prophet,

No chorus of angels,

No mumbled prayer, no gospel song

No hard church bench, no fast or

Festival to feel close to the Divine.

The glory of the universe,

Is embodied in your flight

As you tumble through heavens,

Ride  invisible thermals

Screech with joy at freedom

Fill your lungs with thin air

And play bumper car with an Eagle.

I, earthbound,

No hollowed bones to launch me,

Just hollowed soul to weigh down,

No soft plumage to feel the course

Of wind through glossy feathers

No hunting call to herald my presence.

Still my soul takes flight

The breeze lifts my spirit,

My eyes follow you,

And we will find that glory

Transcend a sullen earth,

Transcend a mean humanity

And soar together into the blue eye of God.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011

Spring, Imbolc and Hope

March 9, 2009

This last fall and winter was a particular trial as I made some changes in my daily life. I gained and discarded  relationships and this was what was necessary to find purpose, independence and a balance.

I fell seriously ill, and believe now this illness was because of the great upheavals in my life.  The problem is always not to allow more of the same to sneak back into your life.  We second guess ourselves and believe that we are resilient and our eyes open.  We can get dragged down in purpose with the best of intentions.  It’s a constant struggle to keep on a determinded path and not allow questionable influences in our lives.  To go backward, is, well, just hindering progress.

Still, there were some great personal things to come out of this time.  I recovered  most of my health through a regime of a rigid diet and exercise, produced a book and attended a transforming workshop in belly dance in frigid Montreal.

In all this I was able to start to restore a balance that had been threatened. I had lost confidence in myself, had listened too much to other influences and second-guessed myself.  Through this difficult time I had the loving influence of particular friends, their guidance and “I told you sos” and the loving support of my husband.

And love IS the answer, in unconditional abundance and a blind eye towards the amount of it needed.

I don’t claim this journey is finished but I am well set on this path. And I realize  one has to be a bit selfish to continue.  Time and energies here are not endless. I think this is the same for all of us at a certain age.

I am ready for Spring.  Usually I love Winter, a time for introspection, to read (again) Robert Frost and to watch and feel the particular changes of the season.  A particular quietude, an emptiness that bears the fecund seeds to come.

We were blessed with just one snowfall where I live — a beautiful, enchanting all day snow of huge, wet flakes on the first day of March. A magical 4 inches of snow that lingered for 2 days before disappearing.  It transformed this old little neighborhood into something that reminded me of a village in Japan, for physical characteristics disappeared and there was a serenity cast over the land.

The plum blossoms had appeared and the snow cascading downward was met with the spears of plum trees reaching upward.

But I am ready for Spring.  This year I will take a particular joy in the reaffirming of life because there were times late last year I didn’t think I would see this new season. That particular illness had pushed me to the brink of not caring and I didn’t know if I wanted to live. Pain can screw with lots of things we take for granted and with expectations.

But it’s almost Spring, the time that brings great gifts of insight and inspiration. A time of beginnings and of essential truths.  It begins in the dark and often icy early days. It is the time to appreciate innocence, new born things, internal and external, to make plans and resolutions for the coming year.

I took a stab at this this weekend.  I planted a rosebush, a Queen Elizabeth, two grape vines, two blackberry bushes and twenty strawberry plants in pots.  I have a dying cat, Spanky, who will be buried under this rosebush when he goes. I have a front garden full of rosebushes and full of cats and dogs.   I would hope someone would plant a rosebush over me when it’s time. But not yet. I still have plans.

In the Celtic calendar, Imbolc pertains to childhood, when all things are questioned or enjoyed in innocent wonder.  It is the season of birth, of all nature and why not personal rebirth?

Although I do not claim to be a Christian, I was raised surrounded with Christian Church celebrations and culture.  My parents were not religious or markedly spiritual people, but I was raised in a ‘place’ of great beauty.  In the countryside I had woods and rivers, brooks, a canal, a towpath that stretched miles and many country lanes and pastures to explore.  I saw deer almost daily, came across beavers and groundhogs, saw carp jumping in the river in summer and had old growth forests to play in.  There were dairy cows with liquid brown eyes and sheep and chickens, cats and dogs to play with.

Church was a strange place that didn’t speak of the tangible spiritual to me.  Church was full of mumbo jumbo that a child didn’t understand, or at least this child.  We rarely attended so I wasn’t versed in any religion, or at least I wasn’t invested heavily.

The outdoors with endless horizons and sudden electrical storms we saw on the distant hill trumped any church.

As children, our spiritual yearnings were shaped by the elements. But all in all, this particular environment produced a broadness of thought on spiritual things, an awe of nature, or a comfort WITH nature that served us as adults.

Upon attending to research, once again, for “Devil’s Revenge”, I have been reading “Celtic Sacred Landscape”, by Nigel Pennick. This book is not a listing of sacred stones, paths and well, but an involved book about how Celtic tradition and beliefs (from many warring tribes..there was no unity in the early stages and nation or statehood was rocky at best) are expressed spiritually through the land: it is a world where the material is a reflection of the spirit and where the spirit reveals itself in the material.  The landscape is filled with places where the spirit is acknowledged and preceived present.  This is the concept of ‘anima loci’ the place-soul.  This is the essential personality of a location.  How differently we perceive our gridded out cities our parks, our litter filled streams!

The three monotheistic religions, Christianity/Judaism/Islamic have lost this understanding.  Churches/Synagogues/ Mosques have supplanted Nature’s spiritual location.

In the coming weeks, months, I am going to write more on my findings and what I believe is my developing core spiritual beliefs.  Spring is the season of rebirth, a reaffirmation of life and this spring I embrace a very personal rebirth.  A journey more mindful this season than one foot in front of the other.  An attempt to see the Divine all around, and the unending spiritual messages that Nature gives with two open hands.

Lady Nyo

Plum Blossom Snow

The present snowstorm of
White plum blossoms
Blinds me to sorrow.

They cascade over cheeks
Like perfumed, satin tears,
Too warm with the promise of life
To chill flesh.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2009

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